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The Lineup Card: Cruz Hamstrung Again

Derek VanRiper

Derek VanRiper

Derek is the Senior Baseball Editor for RotoWire.com, where he's been a two-time finalist for the FSWA's Baseball Writer of the Year award, and winner of the Best Football Article on the Web (2009) and Best Baseball Article on the Web (2010) awards. Derek also co-hosts RotoWire Fantasy Sports Today on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (XM 87, Sirius 210) from 11a-2p ET on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Projected Starters A look at Monday's matchups (all times Eastern):

Marlins (Chris Volstad R) at Pirates (James McDonald R), 7:05
Mariners (Doug Fister L) at Orioles (Brad Bergesen R), 7:05
Tigers (Max Scherzer R) at Yankees (Javier Vazquez R), 7:05
Dodgers (Chad Billingsley R) at Braves (Tommy Hanson R), 7:10
Rangers (Cliff Lee L) at Rays (David Price L), 7:10
Padres (Kevin Correia R) at Cubs (Tom Gorzelanny L), 8:05
Mets (Jon Niese L) at Astros (Wandy Rodriguez L), 8:05
Blue Jays (Shaun Marcum) at Athletics (Brett Anderson L), 10:05

Day Game After a Night Game: None

Key Matchups - Spotlight on hitters and pitchers with favorable matchups against their opponent on a particular day (generally, individual matchups with fewer than 10 at-bats are not included). *Check Status

Hot

Ichiro Suzuki v. Brad Bergesen 7-for-16 (.438), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1:0 BB:K (.471 OBP)
Franklin Gutierrez v. Brad Bergesen 5-for-9 (.556), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 2:0 BB:K (.636 OBP)
Miguel Cabrera v. Javier Vazquez 10-for-26 (.385), 3 HR, 8 RBI, 5:5 BB:K (.459 OBP)
Johnny Damon v. Javier Vazquez 8-for-24 (.333), 2 HR, 5 RBI, 2:5 BB:K (.385 OBP)
B.J. Upton v. Cliff Lee 6-for-17 (.353), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1:4 BB:K (.389 OBP)
Carlos Beltran v. Wandy Rodriguez 5-for-14 (.357), 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1:2 BB:K (.400 OBP)
Jeff Francoeur v. Wandy Rodriguez 5-for-12 (.417), 2 HR, 5 RBI, 1:3 BB:K (.429 OBP)

Cliff Lee v. Rays With 146 combined plate appearances, Rays hitters have a weak .228/.269/.353 line against Lee. Even with the expected return of Carlos Pena (all three of the team's homers against him in just 26 at-bats), it could be a long night for Tampa Bay on Monday.

Shaun Marcum v. A's The sample size is small, but an 18:6 K:BB over 66 at-bats is a nice start for Marcum against an Oakland lineup with a combined .212/.278/.212 line (yup, that's a .490 OPS) against him.

Cold

Jose Lopez v. Brad Bergesen 1-for-14 (.071), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 0:2 BB:K (.071 OBP)
Brandon Inge v. Javier Vazquez 7-for-34 (.206), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 2:14 BB:K (.250 OBP)
Jhonny Peralta v. Javier Vazquez 6-for-34 (.176), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1:10 BB:K (.200 OBP)
Brian McCann v. Chad Billingsley 1-for-11 (.091), 1 HR, 1 RBI, 4:5 BB:K (.333 OBP)
Carl Crawford v. Cliff Lee 6-for-25 (.240), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:5 BB:K (.240 OBP)
Evan Longoria v. Cliff Lee 2-for-14 (.143), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1:3 BB:K (.214 OBP)
Ben Zobrist v. Cliff Lee 2-for-10 (.200), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:0 BB:K (.200 OBP)
Ryan Ludwick v. Tom Gorzelanny 1-for-11 (.091), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 2:1 BB:K (.241 OBP)
Jose Reyes v. Wandy Rodriguez 1-for-12 (.083), 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0:2 BB:K (.083 OBP)

Recommended Pickup(s)

Jhoulys Chacin, SP, COL Apologies for the recommendation on back-to-back days here, but you really want to make a move here if you need pitching help. With Jeff Francis going on the DL, Chacin will be recalled on Tuesday to take his place in the rotation. Given the strikeout potential (he's whiffed 89 in 82.1 MLB innings this season), there's plenty to like here even with Coors Field as a home park. Francis' shoulder woes have now sidelined him twice since he had surgery last season, so this stay on the DL could be a lengthy one. It's hard to believe that a young arm this talented will remain available in approximately 90 percent of leagues for long, but Chacin showed flashes of being a future No. 2 or No. 3 starter with an 11-start run earlier this season in May and June where he posted a 3.56 ERA and 69:32 K:BB in 65.2 innings.

If you already grabbed Chacin...

Juan Gutierrez, RP, ARZ The D-Backs' bullpen continues to be a mess, and while Sam Demel might get a chance to hold down the closer's role, Gutierrez has better stuff and may be able to overtake him after he returns from the DL. Demel has gone five outings in a row without recording a strikeout, a trend that must change if he's going to be an effective ninth-inning option.

Other recent recommendations: Hong-Chih, Kuo, Starlin Castro, Felix Pie, Jeremy Guthrie

Injuries - A brief look at players that have been missing time with minor ailments and their expected returns.

Day-to-Day (includes players expected to make their return from the DL)

Derrek Lee, 1B, CHC (Back) Left Sunday's game in the fifth inning with lower back stiffness.
Nelson Cruz, OF, TEX (Hamstring) Will have a precautionary MRI after aggravating his injury Saturday night.
Jose Valverde, RP, DET (Abdomen) MRI didn't reveal anything serious.
Lance Berkman, DH, NYY (Ankle) Day-to-day after jamming his ankle in a collision at first base on Sunday afternoon.
J.J. Hardy, SS, MIN (Wrist) Did not start Sunday, but will likely be back in the lineup on Tuesday.
Jed Lowrie, SS, BOS (Illness) Held out of Sunday's lineup with heat exhaustion.
Ronny Cedeno, SS, PIT (Shoulder) Could land on the DL if he doesn't improve soon (can't swing the bat).
Ross Gload, 1B, PHI (Groin) Available to pinch-hit again.

Players on the DL

Dustin Pedroia, 2B, BOS (Foot) Said he felt good after a full game at Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday.
Chase Utley, 2B, PHI (Thumb) 0-for-3 in a rehab game Sunday and will return on Tuesday barring a setback.
Carlos Pena, 1B, TAM (Foot) Still expected to return to the Rays' lineup on Monday.
Ryan Howard, 1B, PHI (Ankle) Was expected to make sharp cuts on Sunday to test out his ankle.
Andrew Bailey, RP, OAK (Oblique) May return to the A's bullpen during the coming week's homestand.
Martin Prado, 2B, ATL (Finger) Felt better hitting in the cage on Saturday than he did during batting practice Friday.
Rafael Furcal, SS, LAD (Back) Threw and took swings on Saturday, but still wasn't ready to field grounders.
Orlando Cabrera, SS, CIN (Oblique) Has been doing light hitting, could return Wednesday, but taking it slow with recovery.
Kris Medlen, SP, ATL (Elbow) Set to undergo Tommy John surgery this week.
Andy Pettitte, SP, NYY (Groin) Will play catch and possibly throw from a mound on Tuesday.
Chipper Jones, 3B, ATL (Knee) Had successful surgery to repair a torn ACL on Saturday.
Joel Pineiro, SP, LAA (Oblique) Outside chance he'll return to the Angels' rotation this season.
Carlos Silva, SP, CHC (Heart) Getting closer a rehab assignment and may return within a week.
Rich Harden, SP, TEX (Shoulder) Landed on the DL with tendinitis, unclear when (or if) he'll return.
Milton Bradley, OF, SEA (Knee) Will have arthroscopic surgery on Tuesday.
Nick Punto, SS, MIN (Hamstring) Twins hoping to get him back on Tuesday.
Conor Jackson, OF, OAK (Hamstring) Expected to see significant playing time when he returns.
Hideki Okajima, RP, BOS (Hamstring) Was scheduled for a bullpen session on Sunday, rehab going slowly.
Chris Young, SP, SD (Shoulder) Encouraged by his most recent bullpen session; will throw again on Monday.
Robinson Tejeda, SP, KAN (Biceps) Think he'll begin throwing in the bullpen next week.
Tommy Manzella, SS, HOU (Finger) Will stay on rehab assignment as long as possible (another 20 days) before Astros activate him.
Tyler Greene, SS, STL (Hand) Started a minor league rehab assignment on Friday.
Damaso Marte, RP, NYY (Shoulder) Set to throw from a half-mound on Sunday, unlikely to return before Sept. 1.
Mark Lowe, RP, SEA (Back) Still hopes to pitch for the Mariners this season.
Gil Meche, SP, KAN (Shoulder) Now trying to return to the Royals as a reliever in September.

Transactions - Players that have been demoted, called up, traded, released, you name it. We'll cover it here.

Activated From the DL
Kyle Lohse, SP, STL
Homer Bailey, SP, CIN
Travis Hafner, DH, CLE

Placed on the DL (15-day DL unless otherwise noted)
Rich Harden, SP, TEX (retroactive to 8/8)
David Freese, 3B, STL (transferred to 60-day DL)
Cristian Guzman, 2B, TEX

Called Up
Brandon Boggs, OF, TEX

Sent Down
Juan Francisco, 3B, CIN
Jordan Brown, 1B/OF, CLE
Matt Tolbert, INF, MIN
Fernando Salaz, RP, STL

Closer Watch - A closer look at intriguing ninth-inning situations (check out Dave Regan's Closer Grid with the link to the left).

Washington Drew Storen picked up his second save of the season on Sunday afternoon and continues to look like the best Washington reliever to own in the long run if you're trying to lock up the Nats' save opportunities.

Colorado Huston Street was crushed by the Brewers in a two-inning appearance on Saturday night. Given his struggles on consecutive days since returning from the DL, some form of a committee could be in order to prevent him from being overused and coughing up leads with a tired arm. Matt Belisle continues to pitch well in a setup role, while Manny Corpas' past experience in the closer's role makes him a threat to vulture the occasional save chances if needed as well.

Chicago White Sox Maybe manager Ozzie Guillen can resort to some sort of closer wheel in the dugout? J.J. Putz gave up a two-run homer to Alex Avila on Saturday night to take the loss and his second blown save chance of the season. At least he struck out the side in the inning, but Putz was knocked around during the eighth inning in Sunday's loss to the Tigers, and he may be temporarily removed from the equation for save chances on the south side of Chicago.

Los Angeles Dodgers Hong-Chih Kuo picked up his fourth save of the season on Saturday night, as manager Joe Torre is sticking by his word and giving save opportunities to Kuo and Octavio Dotel until Jonathan Broxton shows signs of getting away from his recent struggles.